Thursday, December 12, 2013
Not That There Was Any Doubt but Doc Rivers Picked the Right Time To Leave Boston
I'll never understand how anyone could blame Doc Rivers for leaving the Celtics for the Clippers. With Boston rebuilding and LA a legitimate contender in the Western Conference, who wouldn't take off on a new adventure in a warm climate with more money and power? Doc's first game back to TD Garden with his new team was tonight and the Clippers (15-8 overall, 7-6 away) held off the Celtics (10-14 overall, 5-6 home) 96-88.
The C's did a nice job honoring Rivers between the first and second quarter with a highlight video although their taste in music wasn't the best. As most expected, he was widely cheered when he got introduced before the game (as he should have been). Now we can all move on with our lives, PS thanks for the memories Doc. Oh that's right, they'll meet one more time-January 8 in Los Angeles. I'll assume that won't be nearly as emotional.
Chris Paul is what makes the Clippers a contender, for my money he's still the best point guard in the NBA (sorry Russell Westbrook). He flirted with a triple-double (22 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals). Blake Griffin was the only other LA starter in double-figures with 18 points (which I'm assuming all came via dunks) and seven rebounds. Ageless Jamal Crawford scored 21 points off the bench and Darren Collison had 10 points.
Boston was playing the second half of a back-to-back and it showed as they led 23-20 after one quarter and 45-39 at halftime before they faded in the last two quarters. Los Angeles took over in the third (27-19) and put it away in the fourth (30-24).
Jeff Green scored a game-high 29 points but in typical fashion didn't do anything else. Jordan Crawford nearly had a double-double with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Brandon Bass put up a great line if you had him in Fantasy Basketball: 17 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Jared Sullinger added 10 points and nine assists.
LA hit six more free throws (22-16), made four more steals (9-5), scored six more fast break points (15-9) and 18 more points in the paint (42-24). Oh and the Clippers bench outscored the Celtics 34-4 so there's that.
It was a taxing couple nights so I'm sure Boston will be happy to rest tomorrow (assuming they don't have more than a light practice at most) before they host the Knicks (6-15, 4th in Atlantic Division) on Friday (7:30, CSN). You might remember that Boston whipped New York 114-73 on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. I'd say the Knicks can't possibly play any worse but then I look at their record and am not quite sure.